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E3 2016: Microsoft – Playing without boundaries

This year for E3 Micorosoft wants to unite gamers. Playing without boundaries was the theme and Microsoft is taking major steps to make this happen. Microsoft also unveiled the Xbox One S, or the slim version, and Project Scorpio, the most powerful console to date. There were plenty of Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusives. The Play Anywhere feature which will allow gamers to purchase a digital copy of an Xbox One game and play it anywhere on Windows 10. Mike Ybara and Phil Spencer want to make interactive gaming more than gaming, they want to create communities of interactive gamers.

Players without boundaries - connecting players across all platforms
Players without boundaries – connecting players across all platforms

New features announced by Ybara is that Microsoft is investing in more Xbox Live servers. There will be more severs where more players are playing as Microsoft is trying to make the experience on Xbox Live has fast as possible. Players will finally have the ability to listen to background music of their choice during gameplay. Players will have the option to pick whichever language they perform regardless of location. Cortana is joining as a digital personal assistant. These are just some of the new performance features coming to Xbox One later this year. A few new features will help players connect with like-minded players much more easily.

Three new features will be ease the pain of finding other players to play with on Xbox Live. Clubs on Xbox Live is a place players can create communities based on their gaming preference. Looking For Group on Xbox Live, easy feature to find liked-minded players to complete certain tasks. For the competitive gamers comes the, Arena, or the tournament platform, for everyone. The easy one stop shop is a great new location to go and compete against your friends. All the major gaming tournaments will eventually be on Xbox One. FIFA and EA are working on bringing FIFA tournaments to the Arena. Microsoft is also adding two additions to the Xbox One hardware family.

The Xbox One S, is a slim-downed version of the original Xbox One. It is smaller by 40 percent. It comes with a 2TB harddrive and with the power supply built into the console, which is a first for Microsoft. The new controller has a gripped back and an increased range. No price was given yet though it will be available for in August. The second addition is called Project Scorpio and Microsoft is calling it the most powerful console to date. Scorpio has a eight Core CPU with six tereflops of computing power. It will be fully 4K compatible and will be able to provide HDVR. Players will be able to get their hands on Project Scorpio next holiday season. Microsoft is also announcing a way to customize controllers with the Xbox Design Lab. Pick the colors of the buttons, the sticks, and the face of the controller. Players will even be able to etch their name in the controller. All this exciting new hardware and amazing features would be worthless without any good games to play. First up was Coalition with a demo of Gears of War 4.

Gears of War 4 will be a part of Xbox Play Anywhere, this means that you can play it both on your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. All Co-op play will be available cross platform and Rod Ferguson confirmed there will be a Horde mode before the demo started.

Lots of new and exciting features for Gears of War 4. Players will be able to perform executions with knives. The wind plays a huge part of the game. The characters are constantly fighting against, causing the players to not be able to run as fast. Dead enemies take off like a kite in the wind. At one point in the demo,  the group has to get across a bridge but a group of Swarm are blocking the path. They decide to use an old locust pod launcher on the Swarm. Working together players must shoot the pods out of the sky once they have been launched to rain down a fiery death on the Swarm. Some interesting weapons were revealed such as a buzzsaw launcher. Coalition did a great job of ending the demo with Marcus Fenix. Fenix was not the only character from Gears of War to be revived during E3.

The most played fighting game on Xbox One, Killer Instinct revealed today that General Raam is coming to the Xbox One and Windows 10 in Killer Instinct: Season 3. Killer Instint Season 3 is available on Xbox one and Windows 10.

Forza is taking over Australia in Forza Horizon 3. Racing across this mystical island will have players driving across, sand dunes and tropical forests. There are a number of different types of cars to do different types of races. Forza Horizon 3 will be fully cross-platform compatible. Horizon 3 will also have the biggest library of cars available. Players will be able to play anywhere September 27, 2016.

Recore is a fun looking 3D platformer from Microsoft Studios. In Far Eden – near Future – Joule and her trusty group of robots must work together to solve puzzles and fight bad robots.

Final Fantasy XV presented the Trial of Titan. This demo is a three-way battle as a group of troops decides to join in the fray. The titan is truly enormous as he seen acorss the whole screen. Players take on the role of Noctis and he can be seen running around trying to dodge the constant arm sweeps from the titan. After a little back and forth, Noctis with the help of his friends casts a blizzard spell and destroy the titan’s arm. Final Fantasy XV will be available September 30, 2016.


Minecraft is getting a major update today, called the Friendly Update. This update will make Minecraft completely cross-play compatible. Now players can play together across iOS, Xbox, PC, Android. Players can also create a custom server Minecraft Realms. This new journey is to unite all players across all platforms. A new texture pack is also being released today. Players will be able to try Minecraft Realms free on any platform.

Chris Charla, director of ID@XBox has announced Limbo will be free on Xbox One starting today. The long awaited Inside, from the creators of Limbo, will be available on June 29,  There are more than 1,000 games that are in development for ID@Xbox now.  This program has been successful and plans to bring more interesting games to Xbox One. One such successful project has been Ark, the survival game that was a part of the Game Preview. If players have already purchased the game, then it will be available on cross play to the Windows 10. The Game Preview Mode has proved to be a successful endeavor.

The new Dead Rising 4 title starts with Xmas music and the return of Frank West. This title must take place during the holiday season as there are a lot of holiday-themed weapons. There is also a robot-mech suit that annihilates zombies. Guess when it is coming out, Holiday season 2016.

The theme for players without boundaries was evident throughout the presser. Now players will be able to take their gaming with them on the go, where ever there is an internet signal. The new Xbox Live features will connect players like never before. Now players will be able to access communities of similar players right from their console. The upgrades in hardware and software are steps made in the right direction. The ability to take gaming anywhere will create a new type of connectivity through Xbox Live. Microsoft continues to find new areas to improve and this press event was impressive. The future and beyond look bright for Microsoft.



About Rick Brown

As a fearful proponent, I agree with out robot overlords on House Bill 10010101 - The Full Extermination of the Human Race. But until then, make sure to check out all my writings on video game stuff.

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